Beauty, Blessings and Bistros: The Hawaiian Huna approach to dealing with the virus as well as everyday stresses by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

One of my favorite trainings I have received on my spiritual pathway is with Aloha International. I was ordained as an alaka’i (Hawaiian spiritual guide) in 2016. I began studying Huna intensely in 1997. In 2015, I personally met and studied with our Kumu Kupua (founder and shamanic guide) Serge Kahili King. I love the Hawaiian way as it is gentle, loving and teaches us to examine our beliefs, life practices and thought-patterns in a way which heals our wounds and nurtures our lives in many beautiful ways. Huna means secret but not as something we can’t share, rather something that is hard to discover or grasp like the mists of the sea. Dr. King, however, makes it easy and I am happy to share some of his teachings here.

I have several medical people in my family. They study science and closely follow journals to find treatments and cures. I bless those efforts because their findings are wonderful tools when we, ourselves, are in need of medical treatment. The shamans, however, have a different approach to disease. Instead of looking to see what medications work, we like to explore why other methods work. Placebos, for example, are so powerful that scientists must go to extreme measures to avoid activating them with practices such as double-blind studies. What if instead of working to eliminate the placebo effect, we work to strengthen it? What if our goal is to harness the power of our minds to explore how our expectations, beliefs and thoughts affect our health and well-being?

In Huna, the cause of dis-ease is always STRESS whether it be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Stress creates resistance that fuels a stress cycle. Stress creates resistance which creates more stress, and thus more resistance and so on. The question becomes how can we reduce stress and increase our chances of avoiding illness in general and the corona virus specifically and if we do get sick, helping it to stay mild?

There are 3 ways which I have learned that work wonders. They are my 3 B’s: Beauty, Blessings and Bistros.

Beauty: When we expect something bad to happen our internal reaction works as if it is already happening. We tense up our muscles when contemplating the negative things coming our way. One way to counteract this thought pattern is to anticipate something wonderful happening. And for me it is even more powerful if something wonderful IS actually happening in the moment. This happens when we focus on beauty. The more we can focus on beauty, the more we can be in the present moment enjoying wonderments in our life in the here and now. I live near New York City, considered a hotspot for the virus. And yet, Mama Nature has gifted us with an early and lovely spring. The flowers and trees are blooming, and the birds are exhibiting mating behavior. Mother Nature is clearly of the opinion that life should go on. The earth is alive. The more I focus on this, the less tension I feel.

Blessings: Blessings are also another way to reduce stress and appreciate the good in our lives. The more we can find blessings, the more our body will relax and the less resistance we will have. And a lovely side effect is that we will also be happier while we are in a state of offering blessings. Here are some examples of the blessings I have found just this morning: I woke up in a warm, cozy bed, I woke to fresh air and did the cat stretch lushly feeling all parts of my body. I ate a wonderful breakfast blessing not only the bounty of the earth but a special blessing for the laborers who work the supply chain so I can enjoy that breakfast.

Bistros: I am using the concept of bistros as a metaphor, especially in this time where restaurants are mostly closed. I miss them. A bistro is a sensory emporium with wonderful food aromas, the chatter of people, the clanking of dishes, the delicious tastes, the physical sensations of being close to people, the opportunity to look directly at good friends and loved ones over tea. All these sensory aspects help us to be more fully in the present moment. Each day I have learned to make it a practice to search out these sensory experiences in the challenging world I am living in today.

These are like muscles that need to be used and strengthened in order for them to be strong and work in the midst of crisis. To be sure, using these muscles for the first time during a pandemic is the advanced course.  Still the more I practice beauty, blessings and bistros, the more they work, and the more powerful they are in my life, positively affecting me and those around me.

Please note, I am not advocating for ignoring what is going on in the world. As my Sufi friend tells me, “Trust Allah but tie up your camel.” I follow the 3 B’s while also following physical distancing as well as mask, glove and hand washing directions. Another friend of mine came up with a wonderful hand washing routine that I have adapted: She thanks the water for its cleansing ability. I have added the enjoyment of the sensory experience of water rushing over my skin, and then I remind myself of the beauty of water which is the essence of life. Afterall, our human bodies are over 50% water. And finally, as I finish up, I bless and thank the gifts and treasures that water brings into my life. Voila 20 Seconds!

This article is based on the teachings of Serge Kahili King in his book Urban Shaman. For more information visit / (Special thanks to Didi Witchard for her hand washing ritual).


Janet Maika’i Rudolph. “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE QUEST.” I have walked the spirit path for over 25 years traveling to sacred sites around the world including Israel to do an Ulpan (Hebrew language studies while working on a Kibbutz), Eleusis and Delphi in Greece, Avebury and Glastonbury in England, Brodgar in Scotland, Machu Picchu in Peru, Teotihuacan in Mexico, and Giza in Egypt. Within these travels, I have participated in numerous shamanic rites and rituals, attended a mystery school based on the ancient Greek model, and studied with shamans around the world. I am twice initiated. The first as a shaman practitioner of a pathway known as Divine Humanity. The second ordination in 2016 was as an Alaka’i (a Hawaiian spiritual guide with Aloha International). I have written three books: When Moses Was a ShamanWhen Eve Was a Goddess, and One Gods. In Ardor and Adventure, Janet

Categories: Paganism, Shamanism, Women Mystics, Women's Voices

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13 replies

  1. Remembering and recreating in our minds and souls is a lovely way to reduce the awful stress we’re feeling in these days. I hope beauty and bistros do come back to us as blessings in the world. Thanks for sharing what you know with us. Bright blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “In Huna, the cause of dis-ease is always STRESS whether it be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Stress creates resistance that fuels a stress cycle. ” This indigenous way of thinking is more accurate than separating mind from body and stuffing the latter with disease…
    Gratitude and an ability to be in the present are the antidotes… You express these ideas well!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Janet, thank you for this wise and beautiful post. Spring has been beautiful in New York State, and because of the chilly nights, lingering. I know not everyone is able to have easy access to being outdoors. Finding beauty wherever we can is a practice. And blessing; thank you for reminding us that we all can all bless the world around us. I love the idea for hand washing as a prayer of gratitude. How great to include bistros with the Bs. People have become creative in coming together electronically. I give daffodil tours on Facetime.Here’s a little verse about them.

    the daffodils have bloomed fresh-faced for weeks, refreshed
    by the chilly nights, bowed by wet snow, then rising,
    their gaze, sunny, sweet and serious, growing wise

    Liked by 2 people

    • Like Sara, I love those lines too Elizabeth. Here down by NYC, the daffodils are pretty much over. Got anything for tulips? Just kidding, I love your expressions and how you use your creativity for reflection revealing the hidden gems within our experience. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love those penned daffodil words Elizabeth..

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I like your 3 B’s and I do miss Bistro with the lock down. In Greece we linger over meals…no clearing the table before you even finish in order to move you out and seat the next group. Two hours is our minimum, and often we stay longer.


    • Oh yes Carol so do I. I think I first learned what it meant to enjoy companionship over a meal in Greece many years ago. We would sit and talk and enjoy each other and fresh food, especially Greek salads which are a meal unto themselves. I can see how that is part of the fabric of Greek society. If there wasn’t a global pandemic my husband and I would have been leaving for Greece in a few days. Even though not going is not such a bad sacrifice given what others are coping with I am still sad about it.

      Hope you get to enjoy your Bistros again soon.


  6. Thank you, Janet, for this timely post. I love the three B’s. And the third B reminds me of my meditation practice, which has a lot to do with the senses. In fact, we begin with what we call a “salute to the senses.” This can happen in all sorts of ways, one of them being very similar to your washing hands ritual.


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